Sunday, Mar. 3 - Sunday, Mar. 10, 2019 — RussMatt Invitational, Auburndale, Florida
Spring Break Preview: The Ohio Northern baseball program raises the curtain on its 2019 campaign with the Polar Bears' fourth consecutive Spring Break trip to the RussMatt Invitational in Florida ... Northern will play ten total games in the eight-day event, opening with a single contest against Illinois College at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at Osceola Heritage Park #2 in Kissimmee, Fla. ... The invitational slate continues Monday with a doubleheader against Coe (Iowa) in Auburndale, Fla. ... ONU will also face off against Pitt.-Greensburg in a doubleheader while playing Albion (Mich.), Bridgewater (Va.), Salve Regina (N.Y.), No. 17-ranked Webster (Mo.), and Medaille (N.Y.) in single contests ... The Polar Bears will seek their sixth straight winning season and second consecutive trip to the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament this season under eighth-year head coach Gene Stechschulte ... Last year, Ohio Northern posted a 27-15 overall record and an 11-7 mark against the OAC to end in a two-way tie for third in the league standings ... ONU also qualified for its first OAC Tournament berth since the 2000 campaign ... The Polar Bear offense shined during the 2018 season, breaking the team's single-season hit record with 466 base knocks and the program's single-season doubles record with 83 ... This year, Stechschulte and his staff return 20 lettermen, four All-OAC honorees, and two All-Region selections from the 2018 squad ... On the infield, Ohio Northern returns First-Team All-OAC honorees Luke Klinehoffer and Caleb Thomas among seven returning letterwinners ... Klinehoffer broke the single-season hit record with 71 safeties last season and ended second in the conference with a .399 batting average ... He would additionally earn D3Baseball.com and ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region accolades ... Thomas was dubbed a CoSIDA Academic All-American after starting all 41 games one year ago ... He led the program with 38 RBI and registered a .289 batting average ... On the mound, juniors Josh Mohr and Nate Bye lead the way after garnering All-OAC honors last season ... Mohr earned First-Team kudos after posting the second-lowest ERA in the OAC (1.93) and a 5-2 record in 10 appearances ... He was also named a Second-Team ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region honoree ... Bye gained Honorable Mention status after tallying the seventh-best ERA in the OAC with a 2.73 mark in 52.2 innings pitched ... Scott Beaton, Jack Schaller, and Troy Wagner will also return as two-time lettermen on the mound ... Beaton set the single-season record for pitching appearances with 23 as a late-game relief pitcher ... Junior Jake Gherardi and sophomores Krue Thwaits and Andy Mills will headline the outfield selections as returning letterwinners.
Returning Batting Leaders (2018 Stats)
|3.||P. Buckingham||.321||3.||P. Buckingham||43||3.||Thomas||26||3.||P. Buckingham||20|
Returning Pitching Leaders (2018 Stats)
|Wins||ERA (Min. 25 Inn.)||Strikeouts||Saves|
Series Notes: The Polar Bears will compete in the RussMatt Invitational for the fourth consecutive season ... In the past three seasons, Ohio Northern has posted a 16-12 record at the RussMatt Invitational, including 6-4 records in 2017 and 2018.
ONU Head Coach Gene Stechschulte: Stechschulte begins his eighth season leading the Ohio Northern baseball program with a 159-115 record, a .580 win percentage.